New Java Chip Set to Challenge Intel

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The idea of parallel processing -- that a bunch of OK computers cooperating together should be much faster than one great computer working alone -- is not new. But then again, neither was the idea of small "applet" programs that blur the line between dormant data and executable applications. Now the man who invented Java, a programming language for writing applets, is about to unleash another brainstorm -- a single chip that incorporates parallel processing at the level of the microprocessor.

Announcement of the new design from Bill Joy, head scientist at Sun Microsystems, is not scheduled until August 16th at a Stanford University technical conference, but Sun is already telling people that the idea behind the chip is "the most important semiconductor architecture of the next 20 years." MORE >>